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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

in my weakness

I will get to posting about the Guild- I really will!  This has just been something that has weighed so heavily on my heart that I feel I must share it- and share it now.  It should also be able to throw some light on last week so that you may understand my prolonged absence...

(As you read this, keep in mind that I had just returned from New York the prior Friday!) 

  On Tuesday afternoon I got a phone call from my mom, "Apparently Grandpa is in the ER... we're on our way to the hospital... they don't really know what happened but he just started feeling faint..."  My brain was on the verge of melting-  I didn't know what to do with myself as I was feeling a crazed sense of irony...  Are you serious??? was all my mind could conjure up that would constitute a full thought.
  At the moment that I had taken the phone call I was in a hotel an hour away from my home babysitting four children from our church whose father had gotten into a terrible car accident a full 24 hours prior.  During those 24 hours my family had been split into all different directions- my parents had rushed the wife to the hospital to be with her husband and my sister to their house to babysit the kids.  The kids were now in a hotel room because it made the nursing baby more accessible for feedings and I was watching them in place of my sister.

  I was so tired.  I felt so weak, so drained.  I wanted to go home!  I wanted my mom and dad back- I wanted my sisters- I wanted to tell everybody stories from the Guild....  I wanted to sleep.  I felt weak- so pathetically weak that I'm not sure
I've ever felt such in my life.  I was seriously homesick. Little did I know that God had a purpose for me- right where I was.

  That night the wife and her mother-in-law (keep in mind that the mother-in-law is unsaved) came back to the hotel for a shower, to nurse the baby, and a general check on things.  It was not quite bedtime- I was setting up the laptop that my dad heroically saved the day by bringing (Thanks a million, Daddy :-) ) to turn on a movie before bed.  
  One of the children, about 4 years old, began to tear up.  Her little hands encircled her stomach and her face began to turn red.  "My stomach hurts!"  she moaned.  The mother-in-law wasted no time, grabbed her hand and rushed her to the bathroom in which the little girl promptly regurgitated everything that she had been eating over the day.  I was a little stunned- maybe numb?  Or maybe God was imparting divine peace to me...
  The wife was very concerned (keep in mind that she had zero sleep the night before!) and her brain was racing.  She hastily took the little girl's temperature and
to her horror, it was elevated.  Apparently they had just gotten over a type of bug or virus that had infiltrated their home that included stomach issues and fevers. Was it back? 
 The mother-in-law and the wife were both very concerned- the husband was in surgery- what if he had the virus and the hospital staff thought that it was infection?  Should they go back to the hospital if they may be potential carriers?  Should they bring him home from the hospital if he might be susceptible to getting such a violent sickness that would hurt him so badly in his current state?  The minds raced on...
   I felt awkward saying this- the environment felt very stressful and I usually like to stay quiet during those times- but the Holy Spirit pricked me (though I did not realize it at the time- I figured I was just being legalistic) and I spoke up, "Why don't we pray over her?"  It was a weird moment- I felt as though I had a weed growing out of my head.  Of course we would be praying for her in our heads and hearts- they had to get back to the hospital- why would we waste time praying for her all together?  These are the self-conscious, out-of-whack thoughts that coursed through my feeble, exhausted, weak, full brain. 
  But still, the wife agreed and everyone surrounded the little girl- I grabbed her little hand in my own and shut my eyes.  Oh, the pressure of that moment!  I knew that the mother-in-law was unsaved- shouldn't I make sure that I offer a nice, eloquent prayer that will impress her- inspire her by my fire and zeal for the Lord so that she, too, would want to be saved?  I barely had enough time to think before I just started praying the lamest, frailest, most pathetic prayer that I think I've ever prayed in my life.  I stumbled over my words- why wouldn't it just flow?  Why couldn't the Holy Spirit just "lead"?
  When I opened my eyes my heart sank... I felt like a failure.  I had the opportunity to be a light to the mother-in-law but I failed- I figured I must not have allowed the Holy Spirit to lead- I must have been just operating in my flesh and that's why everything seemed so hard.  
  The wife and mother-in-law left again for the hospital and I went back to setting up the movie and spending the night by myself with the kids in the hotel room. 

There was no more throwing up that night- not even the slightest bit of sickness- and the temperature went down again.

I was too busy feeling like a failure to notice...
  The next morning my sisters came and took over for me.  I left the hotel feeling like a jerk- an utter failure.  I was so tired and weak I felt like how could God use me, anyway?  Did I even leave room for His Spirit to lead?
  I got over myself... eventually.  I got some rest and pretty much forgot about the whole situation over the next day or so- I was too busy to think about it.  But here is where God hit me- straight between the eyes-and taught me a lesson that I pray that I will never forget.

  I believe we were driving, my dad and I, in our little blue Impala...  I had heard that the other little girl in the family was feeling sick while Hannah and Melody were watching them but honestly didn't think very much of it.  My dad turned to me and said, "You know, the grandmother mentioned how you prayed for Anna Beth- she told the Hannah and Melody to pray for Hope."  My eyebrow raised. My heart began to lurch. He continued, "She said to the girls, 'It worked when your sister did it- maybe it will work again!'"  I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin.  The one of the lamest, dumbest, weakest, most pathetic moments in my spiritual journey- and God was glorified to an unbeliever?  I think my eyeballs grew three times their size as I gaped at my father.  If you only knew...

  Sometimes we need to be down to our hardest place in order for God to shine the brightest through us.  God showed me through this situation that surely, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9a)  His might, His glory, His magnificence was revealed to this unbeliever- through my humblest moment.  Praise God that He is the One that ordains all things- He showed me that I'm not in control of anybody's salvation- it's not my doing that will get anyone saved- it's all Him!

  Reminds me of a song that I heard at the Guild,
"I'll lower my jar down,
Pick it up and pour it out...
I'll pour it out, I'll pour it out to you...
I'll sing Your praise, I'll bless Your name, I'll pour it out to You..."

When we are just willing vessels, just pour ourselves out to Jesus- He will do what He will with the contents. The more humble that we are, the simpler, more broken, frailer and weaker that we feel- the more and more we open ourselves up to God taking us up and using us for His glory and His purpose.

Be encouraged, my friends- weakness can be such a beautiful thing!
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
(Matthew 5:3)

By the way, my grandfather is doing great... he got out of the hospital the day after he was admitted...  we don't know exactly what happened but we believe that it was an allergic reaction or a combination of things after he had been spraying pesticides.
Also, our friend from church is recovering well- we give all the glory to God for the whole situation that has lead to not only encouragement in our church but also potential salvation for his mom. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow Amy! What a great testimony! Praise God that AnnaBeth and were healed!!
    Love you sister!